Stay Inn Style
These special bed and breakfast inns provide a warm welcome to Ohio’s Amish communities.
In fall, hay bales dot farmers’ fields and the gorgeous red and yellow foliage of big oak and maple trees pours over hillsides. Amish children in hats and bonnets return to school and their families take along warm blankets for their buggy rides.
A trip to Ohio’s Amish communities in autumn is always special. So why should your stay be anything else? Extraordinary bed and breakfast inns are found in the counties where Amish live and work. We knock on the doors of six memorable places that welcome you to Amish country.
Hisrich Hills Bed and Breakfast
Innkeeper Doug McGlumphy confesses that his delightful Hisrich Hills Bed and Breakfast and ArtFarm in Stone Creek is his “largest art project.” McGlumphy is a college-level design and art instructor who used all his talents and interests to create the unique getaway experience.
The relocated and reconstructed two-story log home was built in Coshocton County in about 1820 and has an 1840 addition. Its wooded, storybook setting includes huge stone outcroppings and curved, red brick walkways with hosta and fern borders. The house, on a 130-acre Tuscarawas County farm, is owned by McGlumphy and his wife, Jennifer Greer. The couple lives within sight, but far enough away for privacy.
The house is a unique pairing of beautiful vintage and authentic period furnishings with unobtrusive modern conveniences, including kitchen and laundry appliances and satellite television. It’s do-it-yourself for the locally provided breakfast eggs, but the morning bakery is ready to be enjoyed.
When one couple with a newborn stayed at the inn, they opted to let the baby sleep in an antique cradle, citing the unique experience for a 21st-century child.
“I encompassed a sense of humor into the house and I like it when my guests get it,” says McGlumphy, who found an old barn ladder to help guests climb to a loft area. Evidently, many guests do understand. They frequently leave behind appreciative notes and small gifts, tucked into nooks and crannies.
McGlumphy’s tiny, eclectic art gallery is also on-site. While there is much to see and do in surrounding Coshocton County, you really don’t have to leave the property. This is a place to write a short story, fall in love or soul search.
NEARBY: The Warther Museum displays remarkable carvings from ebony, walnut and ivory.
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
Innkeeper Loretta Coblentz knows every inch of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg. Sixteen years ago when Coblentz and her husband Paul were restoring the historic barn, they tackled much of the work themselves.
“I scrubbed wooden barn beams with Murphy Oil Soap for three weeks and realized that I was scrubbing mud that had probably been there since 1917,” says Coblentz, whose husband and parents were Amish. “When we opened, we didn’t even have enough money to put nightstands on both sides of the beds.”
The couple’s hard work paid off. Six years after the inn opened, they added a wing, creating a total of 11 rooms with private baths. Loretta Coblentz, an artist and quilt instructor, also painted subtle but sophisticated nature-inspired murals on several rooms’ walls.
The two-story inn rooms feature antiques and lovely bed linens. Some have a porch entrance, fireplace and whirlpool tub. The open Front Room on the first floor with a massive stone fireplace serves as the main gathering area. Guests are served “full, country breakfasts” in the dining area of the room, set on the barn’s original wooden floor.
“I serve as an ambassador to the Amish community,” says Coblentz, whose inn can be described as a country boutique hotel.
“I want guests to be excited about the region. I take a half hour every day to explain what is here to see and do and pass out a sheet with my personal recommendations.”
NEARBY: Guggisberg Cheese, “home of the Original Baby Swiss,” has a variety of food and gift items; L & E Star Candles is an Amish-owned candle shop.
The Miller Haus Bed and Breakfast
From high atop a hill, guests at the Miller Haus Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg have a spectacular panoramic view. By day, the rolling countryside with its grazing and working horses can be seen below. At night, a star-lit sky looms mysteriously and romantically overhead.
A charming garden, enclosed by a white picket fence and complete with bird feeders and whimsical benches surrounds the inn, which opened in 1993. Owners Daryl and Lee Ann Miller and innkeepers Dan and Amy DeHauss say theirs is a “faith-based business.” Their goal is to make guests “feel loved” and to “fill their cups” during their stay.
The inn was built by Amish-raised Daryl Miller, a mason and carpenter, and his uncle. The nine rooms in the main house have clever themes. The Sweetheart Rose Room features a wedding motif and has a cherry poster queen-size bed. The Quilting Corner Room has an antique treadle sewing machine and an Amish-made quilt.
“People these days use smart phones and all kinds of technology,” says Lee Ann Miller. “But they still have an appreciation for the simple life. It’s quiet here. There is no TV.”
Located in the land of “locally made butter and cream,” the bed and breakfast is not the best place for dieters. But in this case, sweet berries and substantial breads trump calorie counting.
NEARBY: Miller’s Bakery, an Amish-owned shop, has fry pies, noodles, breads and pies; Swartzentruber Quilts is an Amish in-home business selling handmade linens and dolls.
The Old Stone House Bed and Breakfast
Some bed and breakfast guests believe their stay should be like visiting relatives or good friends. If you prefer a more intimate contact — really “living” in someone’s home — The Old Stone House Bed and Breakfast in Trumbull County’s Mesopotamia is a good choice. Darcy Miller is the down-to-earth, affable innkeeper of this Trumbull County lodging. Miller will genuinely treat you like her best friend or give you the space and seclusion you crave.
Miller has lived in the historic house on 11 acres since 1985 and has operated it as a bed and breakfast for the past 17 years. The historic home offers a first-floor suite and two separate second-floor suites with private hydrotherapeutic whirlpool baths, queen-size beds and some vintage furniture. A loft area with a balcony overlooks fields, alive with fall wildflowers and the buzzing insects of autumn, as well as a peaceful woods.
The history of the house can be traced to 1815. Jesse Holcombe, son of Captain Hezekiah Holcombe of the U.S. 18th Infantry Revolutionary War and one of the delegates to vote on the Constitution, built the unique bluestone dwelling. It is one of 19 remaining stone houses in Ohio’s Western Reserve region and reflects the wealth of its early owners.
The original part of the home is a two-room-deep, center-hall house featuring 19-inch-thick window wells, a pie safe made with square nails, chestnut wood beams and plank flooring, and an original corner cupboard. The horsehair plaster that was used on the original walls is still visible in some places.
“Some people come here because it is an architectural curiosity and because it is so rare,” says Miller. “But most people just come to get away from the stress of everyday life or to spend time with family. We have siblings who stay here, grandparents and people who are interested in Amish Country. Others come for hike and bike trails and other recreational activities.”
Miller has several improvements and updates planned for the house and property, but promises guests won’t be disturbed. A full country or continental breakfast is available. Authentic Amish home and business tours can be arranged, as well as dinners in Amish homes and winery tours.
NEARBY: End of the Commons General Store, established 1840, sells pottery, cheese and penny candy; Mesopotamia Commons is a park surrounded by century houses.
The Cabin at Sassafras Knoll
Two comfortable black rocking chairs wait on the rustic front porch. And occasionally, one of the resident cats greets guests to The Cabin at Sassafras Knoll, just east of Wooster on 12 quiet acres. The bed and breakfast inn is a meticulously reconstructed 1820 Wayne County log home that was moved to its present location.
Guests can stay many times and not discover all the details that make the early-German-style log home a museum-quality dwelling. But they can start by looking at the antique window locks and wide plank flooring. Innkeepers Paul and Anne Locher are design and decorating consultants for the restoration of early period homes. In addition, Paul Locher is a regional historian and antiques expert.
“My husband began collecting small antiques, then started collecting houses,” says Anne Locher, pointing out other vintage buildings on the property, including an adorable potting shed. Some first-time guests worriedly mistake the structure for an elaborate outhouse until they are assured that modern bathroom facilities are inside the house.
Visitors appreciate the concise thought and planning that marks the inn’s reconstruction. But the Lochers know most come for the tranquility and comfort. The house has two bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower and whirlpool tub, laundry facilities and cable television.
Antiques, herbs drying and hung upside down, and a large fireplace add to the bed and breakfast’s ability to gently transport guests to a less hectic century. Look for a small owl figurine if you stay at the cabin. It’s not really hidden, but guests are proud when they “find” it. A continental breakfast is also available.
Guests can also tour the on-site Museum of Early American Tools, what Paul Locher calls his “man cave.” But a TV remote, pool table or six-pack are nowhere in sight. Instead, the museum is an amazing collection of spinning wheels, looms, wooden rakes, cradles and other “working” antiques, almost all from Wayne County.
NEARBY: Troutman Vineyards offers wine tasting and monthly live music; the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area is a good spot for bird watching.
Marigold Bed and Breakfast
A small herd of alpacas and llamas with big pretty eyes look at you as inquisitively as you look at them when you drive up the winding road to the Marigold Bed and Breakfast. Guests at the inn in Chesterland can arrange for a hiking picnic with the pack animals. For those who are animal-shy, golf carts are also available on the 35-acre property.
The inn, built in the early 1940s, was formerly the home of an artist, his wife and six children. The current owner is John Oberle, who obtained the property from his uncle’s estate. Oberle, a world traveler, restaurateur and past president of the Geauga County Tourism Board, opened the bed and breakfast 12 years ago. The six-room inn can accommodate a maximum of 12 guests.
Classic dark wood paneling, a mix of vintage furnishings and “treasures” found during Oberle’s worldly adventures could have easily created a stuffy museum-like environment or a cluttered Fun House. But thanks to a tasteful eye for decor, the inn’s common areas showcase fascinating collections of teapots, books and artwork. On warm, sunny autumn days, guests appreciate the large stone patio with seven distinct seating areas.
Oberle and inn manager Beverly Jacobs have a special interest in organic and locally grown and produced foods such as sausage, honey and maple syrup. Jacobs also creates her own tasty tea blends for both iced and hot tea. It is no surprise that out-of-town chefs who visit the nearby Loretta Paganini School of Cooking have stayed at the inn.
NEARBY: Alpine Valley for downhill skiing, snow-boarding and snow-tubing; Fowler’s Mill Golf Course, a Pete Dye-designed public course.
WHEN YOU GO
Alpine Valley, 440/285-2211, alpinevalleyohio.com
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, 330/674-7600, thebarninn.com
The Cabin at Sassafras Knoll, 330/264-6941, bbonline.com
End of the Commons General Store, 440/693-4295, endofthecommons.com
Fowler’s Mill Golf Course, 440/729-7569, fowlersmillgc.com
Hisrich Hills Bed and Breakfast and ArtFarm, 330/308-5935, bbonline.com
Guggisberg Cheese, 330/893-2500, babyswiss.com
L & E Star Candles, 2490 Co. Rd. 58, Millersburg 44654
Marigold Bed and Breakfast, 440/729-4000, marigoldbandb.net
Miller’s Bakery, 330/893-3002
The Miller Haus Bed and Breakfast, 330/893-3602, millerhaus.com
ODNR Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, 800/945-3543, dnr.state.oh.us
The Old Stone House Bed and Breakfast, 330/550-0285, oldstonebandb.com
Swartzentruber Quilts, 7971 Twp. Rd. 654, Millersburg 44654
Troutman Vineyards, 330/263-4345, troutmanvineyards.com
Warther Museum, 330/343-7513, warthers.com
RECIPE: Carrot Cake Pancakes
The following recipe was provided by Loretta Coblentz of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg, which was named 2011 Ohio B&B of the Year by the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup packed brown or granulated sugar
2-2/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
2 cups finely grated carrots
1/4 to 1/2 cup light raisins (optional)
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of cinnamon
In a bowl, combine flour, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar, both milks and carrots. Mix well. Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Add raisins if desired.Pour batter onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on the top of pancakes; flip and cook until golden brown. For topping, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with pancakes.